Brooklyn Boro

Pirate radio thrives beneath the radar in Brooklyn

July 2, 2018 By Raanan Geberer Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Lot Radio. Eagle file photo by Scott Enman
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When many people think of pirate radio, they think of the ship-based radio giants just outside territorial waters that beamed rock and roll music into England in the 1950s and ’60s. But there is a thriving pirate radio scene in Brooklyn, consisting of illegal home-based radio stations without permits, according to The New Yorker.

Most of them are aimed at communities that are bypassed by the major radio stations, such as Haitian-Americans, other Caribbean-Americans, Latinos and Orthodox Jews. David Goren, a producer of “regular,” licensed radio shows, is fascinated by pirate radio and has launched an online “Brooklyn Pirate Radio Sound Map,” The New Yorker said. 

Last year, the Trump administration introduced the Preventing Illegal Radio Abuse Through Enforcement, or PIRATE Act in Congress. It would increase fines from a maximum of $144,000 to $2 million for illegal radio stations. Still, Goren says the stations aren’t going away, especially since transmission equipment is becoming less expensive.


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